Steaming food doesn’t always mean cooking over liquid. You can wrap food in parchment paper—a technique called en papillote (French for “in paper”). It works best with shellfish or thin fillets of chicken or fish and greens or other veggies. The food in the packet builds up steam when heated, which gently cooks the contents. This method also seals in flavors. If you don’t have parchment paper, you can use foil.
Here’s a quick dinner idea: Place a little olive oil at the center of a large piece of parchment or foil and top with a fillet of tilapia or sole, a few thin slices of lemon and zucchini, Kalamata olives, a sprig of thyme, salt, pepper, and another drop of oil. Pull two sides of the paper or foil together over the mixture and fold them together several times, tucking the sides underneath so that no steam can escape. Bake the packets in the oven at 350° F for about 25 minutes or until the paper is puffed and the veggies and fish are cooked. Be careful not to burn yourself with the steam that’s released when you slice the packet open.